Aboriginal Weapons Information

First of all Aboriginal weapons can be divided into 6 main types being spears, spear throwers, clubs, shields, boomerangs and sorcery. Aboriginal weapons are certainly collectable and as a result some can be quite valuable. Collectable value depends on age, rarity, condition and beauty. Many aboriginal weapons are for hunting as well as warfare. A boomerang or spear and spear thrower can be use to hunt game but objects like clubs and even more shields really have only one purpose.

There is a  vast variation in size, form, decoration and function of Australian Aboriginal Weapons. This reflects the social and cultural diversity of Aboriginal people. Australia had over 200 distinctive language groups. For example in some regions large boomerangs were the preferred weapon, while in other areas clubs and parrying shields.

Aboriginal Weapons : Spears

Most aboriginal spears are made from saplings or vine that have been straightened over a fire while still green. A wooden barb or maybe astone spear tip is attached using kangaroo sinew and spinifex resin. The opposite end is then tapered to fit onto a spear thrower.  When completed the spear is usually between 2.5 and 3 metres long.

The majority of aboriginal spears are not very collectable because they do not display well.  There is however some most noteworthy exceptions. On the Tiwi Islands the spear has become a ceremonial object and as a result is intricately carved and painted. The Torres Strait is probably the only part of Australia to have used a bow and arrow and the anthropomorphic arrows are highly collectable.

Aboriginal Weapon Spear thrower : Woomera: Spearthrower

The aboriginal spear thrower is an ingenious device that allows a spear to be thrown far further and more accurately than it could by hand alone.  There were six main types of spear thrower in Aboriginal Australia and are covered in my article aboriginal spear throwers. Many spear throwers were used for hunting but they were also used in times of tribal fighting. Some spear throwers were even used to deflect incoming spears as well as throw them.

 Aboriginal weapons : Shields

Aboriginal shields are probably the most collectable of all the aboriginal weapons. This is may be because they are often covered in the most intricate designs and show the highest levels of workmanship. There are seven main types of aboriginal shield and are covered in a separate article. There are two main category of shield. They were either designed to block projectile weapons like spears or boomerangs or they were designed to parry a blow from a club.

Aboriginal Weapons Boomerangs

Not all boomerangs were made predominantly for hunting game but rather some boomerangs were made specifically for Warfare. Most notable are the number 7 or killer boomerang from Central Australia. It is designed to hook onto an opponents parrying shield and swing in behind it doing massive damage. Likewise the Lake Eyre fighting boomerangs can be up to 2 mertres long and are used in close quarters combat.

There are 12 main catagories of aboriginal Boomerang and they are covered in more detail in my article

Aboriginal Weapons Clubs

Three main catagories of Aboriginal Clubs were used in warfare. Throwing Clubs were used as lethal projectiles and consiquently made specifically to be thrown. Sword clubs are flat in profile and there is also bludgeoning clubs. There is a large variety of aboriginal clubs, which  is also covered in a separate article. Aboriginal clubs vary from not very collectable sticks with a crudely cut hand grip, to intricately carved weapons with wonderful forms.

Aboriginal Weapons Sorcery

In western society we do not think of sorcery as a weapon but in Aboriginal Australia it was just as deadly.  There were many different cultural practises most of which are secret or sacred and will not discussed here. However two well known art forms maybe be discussed. The pointing bone was used by a traditional man of knowledge and if pointed at someone would probably cause them to grow sick and then die. Another stealth weapon associated with sorcery is the kadiacha shoes which allowed the wearer to leave no footprints and not be heard. A feather foot or Kadaicha man could enter a sleeping campsite kill you and leave without a trace because of these stealth footwear.